Selena Gomez’s documentary, “Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me,” has been a long time coming. In the days since its release on Apple TV+, the singer’s life story has attracted many longtime fans and curious viewers. The documentary reveals more than either she or the media has ever shared regarding the star’s struggles with mental and physical health problems. Though viewers learn more about the gaps in Gomez’s public life, some cannot help but feel that the documentary completely misses the focus of her life and career.
The documentary begins in 2016 and continues into the present year. Her emotional struggles are fundamental to her story, and within the first five minutes, Gomez delivers a hearty monologue that expresses deeply personal sentiments.
“Let me make you a promise,” Gomez narrates in the documentary, “I’ll only tell you my darkest secrets.”
However, these words leave the question of whether she ever actually tells you her “darkest secrets,” as they seem to be completely absent from the documentary. Some of the narration reveals her innermost thoughts, allowing you to form some level of understanding of who she really is. Sadly, her words completely contradict the image she shared via Instagram and during her public appearances. The photo’s portrayal of her high-end lifestyle suggests that she lives a glamorous life, but the documentary reveals the dark side of fame. For Gomez, as well as countless other big names, it seems that there are fears, struggles and heartaches that money cannot resolve.
Throughout the documentary, viewers learn about the immense toll that Gomez’s mental health struggles take on her life. The recurring topic of poor mental health delivers barely any new information about the star, but understanding what she endures is still important. However, the documentary often feels as though it’s more concerned with promoting mental health awareness than discussing Gomez’s life. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but the documentary still leaves questions about her career unaddressed.
The seemingly non-orchestrated footage of Gomez visiting her hometown and school and paying homage to her modest beginnings feels raw. It provides an inside look into the people she grew up with, the school she attended and the simple life she lived. As the scene shifts from her former life to her present fame, the energy becomes melancholic, and the star becomes visibly unhappy.
Viewers who struggle with mental health issues may relate to her stigmatized internal war. Few people were aware of the star’s experience with bipolar personality disorder, one of the greatest contributors. to her emotional turmoil. The film reveals private moments that may bring viewers to tears. The narrations wash over our ears as Gomez recounts her personal battles.
During her trip to Kenya, Gomez reveals the suicidal thoughts that she wrestled with for years. Her poor mental health also clashed with the ups and downs of living with Lupus, which greatly intensified her struggles.
One of the most prevalent themes of her documentary is the importance of taking care of oneself to preserve good mental health. Several montages show media and tabloid headlines that indicate how little the public knew about the Gomez’s emotional turmoil. We learn just how good she was at keeping her struggles to herself, an unfortunate reminder that those who seem the happiest may be hurting the most.
Gomez’s film could use more snippets of her career and life, but the experiences she reveals make the documentary feel like a visualization of her brain. Gomez bravely chose to give us a 95-minute glimpse into her internal battles, which were unbeknownst to anyone outside of her inner circle. Her lessons on preserving good mental health should not go unheard.
The documentary ends on a more hopeful note, as viewers are provided with mental health resources and a fragment of Gomez’s newly released single, “My Mind & Me.” For anyone looking for proper aid, the resources provided by Gomez’s production team are a great place to start. And we can take solace in the fact that — as illustrated by the trajectory of the documentary — there is always light at the end of the tunnel.